By Celeste Simmons
Kean University has a number of sports such as soccer, football, and lacrosse just to name a few, but one sport that is missing is rugby. While some students might not see that as a problem, John Simons, a freshman at Kean who is studying Graphic Design/Advertising thinks it is a major issue. Simons has played rugby for three years on a team from South Jersey.
“When I came here I didn’t know that they didn’t have a rugby team already, because I figured most colleges already did,” Simons said.
Rugby originated in England in the early 1800’s and can be described as a much rougher version of American football. The game is eighty minutes long with two forty minute halves. It is considered one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Unlike American football, there are no protective pads used, which leads to tackles being rougher because opponents pile on top of each other. The only real protection that is allowed in the game is a mouth guard.
Simons said that the club is not official yet but they are trying to recruit people now so they can start a team together and start practicing as soon as possible. This way by the fall when the season starts, they can become an official team and will be ready and well prepared. With neighboring schools such as Rutgers University and Montclair University who both have rugby clubs, Simons assured that they would have enough competition.
“It’s more like a brotherhood, you all have to work together in order to achieve your goal,” Simons said, when asked what he feels are great aspects of the sport. “When you get the ball it’s almost like you’re unstoppable.”
Apart from the family aspect of the sport, rugby requires a lot of stamina and technique. It requires physical strength to a degree because you do not have to be bigger than the person you’re tackling, as long as you know how to tackle them the correct way.
With this club, Simons hopes to eventually turn the club into a recognized team at Kean. He hopes to make the school more diverse in terms of sports.
“The more sports we have, the more known Kean can be,” Simons said.
If students are interested in playing rugby for Kean University, they can contact John Simons at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the clubs Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/kurugbyclub/.